The rugged beauty of Cuivieenen in Second Life

Cuivieenen; Inara Pey, February 2018, on FlickrCuivieenen – click any image for full size

Cuivieenen is the name given to a fabulously rural Homestead region designed and presented to Second Life users by Personal Jesus (Alexynophus). We were pointed towards it by Shakespeare and Max (TY, again!), and recently spent a pleasant evening wandering along its roads and paths, discovering its little nooks and crannies and spending time sitting and enjoying the scenery.

The landing point sits just off the region’s centre, just outside an old stone chapel. Where you go from here is – at first glance – a matter of following the unsurfaced roads running through the region, north-to-south, and winding westwards. By just keeping to these roads offers visitors a lot to see: the chapel surrounded by a small farm: cattle, chickens and sheep roam immediately outside of its walls, the wrought iron fence that might once have set it apart from their wanderings having long since have fallen or been removed over the years. And old barn sits behind it, while the role of pastor appears to been given over to a scarecrow, watching over his flock.

Cuivieenen; Inara Pey, February 2018, on FlickrCuivieenen

Turf-roofed cottages sit facing the chapel on two sides from across the roads, dry-stone walls guard the roads, while to the west what might be an old quarry awaits discovery. With each of the cottages being furnished, the exceptional care taken with the landscaping elements, this alone means Cuivieenen offers a lot to see – but keeping to the roads and just hopping into the cottages will reveal everything. For example, walk eastwards past two of the cottages to where the land drops rocky shoulders to the waters below, and you’ll find a path descending to a wooden board walk, which in turn offers a way to a small island  topped by a folly with a special welcome waiting inside.

Make your way around the coastline, and you’ll find other places to explore – the cinder beach to the north, the shallow and deep inlets to the south-east and the south, each of which offers a further eclectic feel to the region, be it through the Norse long-boat, or the Gothic alcove and ancient standing stones (with their retinue of cormorants).

Cuivieenen; Inara Pey, February 2018, on FlickrCuivieenen

Between these, up among the rocks are little places for couples to enjoy: a blanket and pillows spread under a tree, and old cart also with blankets spread in its bed; the ruin of an old boat converted into a shaded rest point on a cinder beach, the canoe floating on the waters of the quarry, or the motorboat moored at the foot of a set of iron stairs descending the northern cliffs. More cosy spots for sitting / cuddling can be found inside the region’s old barn, the ruins of a lighthouse and in the cottages – all of which adds a certain intimacy to any shared visit.

A nice touch with Cuivieenen is the way in which it has been blended with part of a sim surround. This very much gives the impression the region is something like a headland, that beyond the mountain behind it lies more land awaiting discovery. When you bring all of this together – the use of the sim surround, the overall care shown in the region’s design and the attention to detail evident in everything, large and small – Cuivieenen emerges as a place with a huge amount of depth. Although – and I say this cheekily and not as a critique – I had to agree with Caitlyn when she noted the landscape naturally leant itself to a cave or two for explorers to find.

Cuivieenen; Inara Pey, February 2018, on FlickrCuivieenen

One of the things I do when visiting a region is try to imagine where in the physical world it might be. In the case of Cuivieenen, I could not help but be put in mind of Iceland: the rugged landscape, cinder / lava like soil, sparse tree coverage – even the turf-roofed cottages – all put me in mind of various parts of Iceland I’ve been fortunate enough to visit, most notably the Myvatn region.

But howsoever you regard Cuivieenen in relation to physical world locations, its own beauty and design mean it not a place to be missed when region hopping across Second Life.

Cuivieenen; Inara Pey, February 2018, on FlickrCuivieenen

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